Too Much Time…

Too much time has passed since I’ve updated!  Below is a little recap of Seattle life and what’s new on the West Coast.

  • Youth in Focus is going wonderful!  I can’t believe it’s been almost three months since I’ve started here.  I love my work, my co-workers, the students…just about everything!
  • I am still writing a monthly column, The Senior Dog Files, for Seattle Dog Spot.  Here is my most recent post about choosing boarding or a dog walker for your senior pooch.
  • Alex has a new co-woker that moved to Seattle from Illinois too with his girlfriend and two dogs.  We’ve enjoyed getting to know them and swapping dog stories!
  • Summer is HERE and we are so excited to hit the hiking trials, taking long dog walks, picnics ad everything in between!  Lets hope it just keeps getting better!

Well, that’s just a short recap of life these days.  I will be back to regularly updating with new pictures and posts starting this week.  I need to get back in the writing-blog habit!

 

New Column Post Today

Check out my April post on Seattle Dog Spot.  This month I wrote about taking long distance car rides with senior dogs.  Blake’s longest ride before us moving out here had only been about five hours.  Nevertheless though, he made it in the car from Chicago to Seattle!  I hope the article gives readers some good tips about taking long rides with senior dogs; even they too like to stick their noses out the windows!

The Senior Dog Files

This month marked my first monthly column for Seattle DogSpot , a local blog that caters to everything dog-related in the Seattle area.  I first began reading the site when we moved out here and were looking for dog-friendly apartments and neighborhoods.  It was a great resource to use and offered a lot of information.  Now, I’ll be writing a monthly post about caring for Blake, my 13-year-old Airedale/Irish Wolfhound mix.  Topics will range from moving across country with an elderly dog, to changing their diet to a senior-formula and everything in between.  I hope it’s a good resource for folks with aging dogs to get first-hand accounts of trials and errors.  Check out the first post, here.

Me and Blake

And a New Career Chapter Begins

It was a whirlwind the past two weeks, work-related anyways.  I applied for a new job on a Wednesday, go in for my first interview the following Monday, have a follow-up on Tuesday, was offered the position Wednesday and had my first day in the office on Thursday.  Whew!  I think that seriously was the fastest I’ve ever gotten a job before!

I’ve started a new career chapter at Youth in Focus; a Seattle nonprofit that provides photography workshops for at-risk youths, empowering them to express themselves through the lens of a camera.  I could not be more excited about this new opportunity to engage Seattle’s young people through such a great craft.  Although the organization is small (I’m one of three staff members!) there is great amount of support from the teaching artists, interns and Board of Directors.  I feel so lucky to have found YIF and am looking forward to the future there!

Powerful Voices

Way back in the fall, I applied for an Adult Ally position at the nonprofit, Powerful Voices and have now been in the program for about three weeks.  PV is a girl empowerment organization and Adult Allies is part of their ActiveVistas program.  As an AA,  I am paired with a young girl (an ActiveVista) and together we design and plan for a workshop the youth will lead at the Girlvolution Conference in April, an all-girl, all-youth led conference focusing on social justice issues and what we, as a community, can do.

I wanted to be a part of this program as a way to learn more about Seattle’s young people, the challenges they face and how I could be a part of social change with them.  To say that the program has been fun these past few weeks would be an understatement: it’s has been amazing and we are still in the first month!

I wanted the chance to work with a young person, in a educational setting, as well, to give me a better idea if that kind of work is what I want to pursue in the future.  And thus far, I haven’t been scared away.  It is both energizing and eye-opening at the same time, having discussions, sharing ideas and listening to the prospectives of so many others.  I leave every Thursday excited for the next week and that’s a good feeling.

I am so happy I took a chance and applied for the AA position.  Not only am I finally in an environment I feel I belong in, but I have made friends with the other AA’s as well as staff at PV.  So far, it has just been a great experience!  I will update more in the coming weeks.

 

First Snowshoeing Adventure

Alex and I went snowshoeing with some of my co-workers for the first time over the weekend.  We rented our snowshoes from REI and were on our way.  I had never even considered going snowshoeing until we moved out here and even then I was more focused on skiing.  However, snowshoeing proved to be just as fun–and a great workout!

We made our way to the Red Mountain Trail through the Commonwealth Basin.  Starting off slow was key as we each got accustomed to our snowshoes.  But we were off soon enough and trekked through the icy snow where, in some spots, would have went passed my waist if I fell in.

The weather was beautiful: lots of sunshine and blue skies.  The hike was about five miles round trip and boy did we feel it.  However, it was a great time and an awesome way to see the mountains.  We can’t wait to go again!  I think we found our new weekend activity.

So pretty.

So pretty.

Where's the sign?!

Where’s the sign?!

So much snow!

So much snow!

We made it!

We made it!

Red Mountain

Red Mountain

The Joy of Lemons

I love lemon desserts.  And lime desserts.  But I never really make anything.  But when Alex had a gathering at work and needed to bring the sweets, he asked me to bake lemon bars!  I was excited to finally have a reason to make them (but do you really need a reason?!) and found this great recipe for creamy lemon crumb squares from who else, but The Pioneer Woman.

They were super easy to make and only needed a handful of ingredients, most of which we already had at home.  However, when I took them out of the own, they were still a bit wiggly and I fought with myself about putting them in for longer.  But Alex, as always, said to trust the recipe so I did and popped them in the fridge to chill.  After a couple of hours in the cold, they had solidified some and the custard-like filling was perfect!

The next day, Alex took them to work and he said everyone fell in love!  So happy I didn’t cook them any longer or they may have burned.  And sorry, no picture this time; they didn’t last long!

Las Vegas Birthday Bash

A couple of years ago, we went to Las Vegas for Alex’s birthday.  And this year, we went for mine and his sister’s big 4-0.  Even though we got to the hotel at 8am and had to wait a few hours for our rooms, the sun was shining so we took advantage and walked the entire Strip.  Everything in Vegas is so big and fancy, but it looks so small from the plane, huh?

The Strip

The Strip

Our suites at the Palazzo were amazing when we finally checked in.  Huge beds and bathrooms with double sinks!  Ours had a sunken living room which seemed bigger than our current apartment.

Palazzo hotel.

Palazzo hotel.

 

Wynn Golf Course from our room.

Wynn Golf Course from our room.

When rested up some and met up with the others when they arrived for some pre-evening gambling.  Blackjack called our names first, but we couldn’t forget about craps.  Alex taught me how to play awhile back and we had so much fun at it again!  We had a late dinner on Friday and Saturday was spa day at the hotel.  It was super relaxing and got us rested and ready for the evening.  We had a great dinner at Sushi Samba  toasting champagne and indulging in birthday desserts.  We headed out for drinks, dancing and more gambling and enjoyed the night.

Ready for the night!

Ready for the night!

Las Vegas is always a blast, but it’s good in small doses.  We were there for the perfect amount of time as we were ready to head back home by Sunday morning.  The tables and slots didn’t take too much money from us though so we didn’t leave empty-handed (we did win some at the airport slots though!).  We’ll be back Vegas!

Future Home

Alex and I chat a lot about when we will be moving next.  It’s fun to look at houses and apartments and daydream about what they might look like.  However, I was getting flooded with all sorts of ideas and looks so I decided to finally join Pinterest and organization my thoughts.  My boards are a collection of images that I hope to use for inspiration when we do finally move into a new, more permanent place.  There’s so much out there, that it’s fun to hunt around and find different projects to do.  I especially like the DIY ones!  Enjoy looking around!